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Us 25, Washington 12, Nolan 8, Wisconsin 8, United States 7, D.c. 5, Florida 4, America 4, Hastert 4, Nra 4, Obama 4, Chantix 4, Eric Cantor 3, Brown 3, Jake 3, Julianne 3, Naacp 3, Aflac 3, Lois 3, Mark Pocan 3,
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  MSNBC    Up W Chris Hayes    News/Business. Smart  
   conversation on news of the day. New.  

    January 19, 2013
    5:00 - 6:59am PST  

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just two days from the second inauguration of president barack obama and preparations are under way to welcome an estimated 600,000 people to the nation's capital to witness the event. good morning from washington, d.c. where we are doing the program this weekend. our first road trip. i'm chris hayes. algerian security forces are in the fourth day of a stand off with islamic extremists holding hostages at a gas plant there.
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at least 12 people including one american have died. in an off camera interview last night with espn notre dame linebacker manti te'o strongly denied he had any part in a hoax involving an online relationship with a person he considered his girlfriend who later turned out not to exist. right now i am joined by four democratic members of the freshman class of the house of representatives. congressman rick nolan of minnesota, congresswoman michelle grisham of new mexico, congresswoman lois frankel of florida, and congressman mark pocan of wisconsin. as president obama prepares to be sworn in for a second term on monday he may be confronting a fundamentally different political dynamic in the new congress. just yesterday house republican leaders backed away from threats to use the federal debt ceiling to force cuts in spending agreeing to vote on a new debt limit increase that will last until mid april. the house republicans' new plan would give congress time to pass a budget for the next fiscal year. if no budget is passed house republicans say they'll withhold members' pay.
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in a statement house majority leader eric cantor said, quote, we must pay our bills and responsibly budget for our future. next week we will authorize a three-month temporary debt increase to give the senate and house time to pass the budget. furthermore if they fail to pass a budget in that time members of congress will not be paid by the american people for failing to do their job. no budget no pay. the president's apparent victory in the debt ceiling skirmish comes three days after the house finally passed a $50 billion aid package for victims of hurricane sandy that the white house had proposed. the vote on tuesday was another show of weakness for republicans as the gop leadership let the bill come to the floor despite the fact that only a small fraction of republicans supported it. the bill passed with 241 votes in the house only 49 of which came from republicans out of a total of 240 republicans in the house. the decision to bring the bill to the floor was a violation of the so-called hastert rule named after former republican house speaker dennis hastert who says that a bill should never be brought to the floor unless a majority of the majority can
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support it. the apparent disunity within the republican caucus offered house democrats the faint hope they might have a bigger role to play in the new congress than as the house minority over the past two years. the house democrats' new role in fact may prove crucial in the next major legislative battle over gun control. on wednesday the president proposed a package of gun law reforms in response to the massacre in newtown last month. the package is by all accounts the most sweeping attempt to curb gun violence at the national level since 1994. the president took a number of executive actions immediately but the most contentious members including a proposed limit on ammunition magazines, stronger background checks and reinstatement of assault weapons ban will be left for congress to decide. >> these are some of executive actions i am announcing today. as important as these steps are they are in no way a substitute for action from members of congress. to make a real and lasting
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difference, congress, too, must act. and congress must act soon. >> all right. we have heard a lot about the political strength of the nra. there was a lot of discussion about whether the president would follow up the speech, the moving speech at the memorial with some kind of executive and legislative component and so i guess my first question to you is how -- what were you anticipating you would see from the president? was this more or less than you thought you would get out of him? >> well, i was glad to see the executive orders. we needed to do something and congress hasn't been exactly the best at acting in the last session, so i'm hopeful we can deal with bigger, broader issues when we actually get to some legislation but i'm glad the president took the initiative and really took the lead. >> that leadership effort is critical. if we can continue that kind of relationship you get the president, the executive branch saying this has got to occur,
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this is what needs to occur, lay out a format giving congress then a renewed opportunity to pass reform legislation that is going to make a difference in the lives of all of our constituents. >> i felt very proud of the president and now the congress has to step up to the plate because you cannot just rely on executive orders. i'll tell you, my son was a united states marine artillery officer, so guns are part of my family, but i was an urban mayor. i had to deal with gun violence all the time and i saw it doesn't just shatter lives of families but completely disrupts neighborhoods. this is, to me, an important issue for a lot of people. >> is it something you want to see prioritized though? one of the things that is interesting to me is the president right now is at his highest approval rating in a
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while. this is the natural ebb and flow. it usually builds up after winning re-election. there are a lot of things in the agenda space. you pay off a limited budget right? you can purchase things with that political capital. the horror of newtown is such that it has forced this issue to the foreti particularly in the wake of aurora. if you were designing the agenda in the absence of that and obviously you can't do that is this something that you want to see prioritized or are there other things you would put ahead of it? >> no. this is something that needs to be prioritized. of course the whole issue of sequestration and raising the debt ceiling limit, getting the budget under control, are probably our highest priority at this point in time. we should be meeting four and five days a week in committee doing the job that we were elected to do and the republican leadership has not set a schedule that we can do that. the whole gun control issue has
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been on the front pages now for decades and the democrats, republicans, none of us have really done anything about it. so i think the president is spot on. he is right where the american people are. people in this country want to see a ban on assault weapons. they want to see a ban on these high capacity magazines. they want to see background checks. they want to see better mental health care services. and that is where we need to go and where the country wants us to go. >> we should be able to chew gum and walk at the same time. i believe the country is crying out for us to take action on making life safer in this country and reducing gun violence. i would like to see us prioritize getting people back to work. i don't think we've been talking enough about that. >> that's right. lois is right. i think the reality is that we can do all of this. we should be attending -- the
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reality is we should. not that we do. >> right. >> and that's what people want. they want us to work on these issues. they're expecting that we're spending real time and energy making a difference, moving the economy, getting people back to work and taking care of social issues making a difference. the fact that we don't is the reason in fact that we continue to have the lowest approval ratings in the history of congress. >> yes. i want to get to that but i want to stay on guns for a second. my sense is and i read the statement your office put out for instance supporting say the assault weapons ban, and i believe you are all supportive of that right? >> yes. >> you, congressman have a district in which i don't think it will give you much grief in your re-election. you represent the great city of madison, wisconsin. but you both had very contested races. you know, sam stein wrote a great piece in the huffington post. going back and talking to members who were around in the
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'94 assault weapons ban who really did get blindsided by what the cost of that vote was in terms of the nra coming after them. i want to play a clip of jim moran talking about the nra's political power. take a look. >> that this is going to happen, it is going to have to happen from the bottom up. >> you said it must come from the bottom up. what do you mean by that? >> what i mean is that there are 300 of my colleagues in the house who have an a rating from the nra. i think most of them are frankly intimidated by the nra because they know that the nra responds not so much to its membership but to the manufacturers, the people who pay the executives' salaries. and the reason they're intimidated is that the nra has shown that it will spend unlimited amounts of money in their district whether to defeat them in a primary or a general election. >> are you worried about that?
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>> i'm concerned that we're not doing enough to protect families, not only in my district but across the country. it's clear to me that the platform today on doing something about gun violence is making sure we're protecting gun owners' rights, we're clear about all the outdoor activities and your personal public safety are not being minimized but, rather, every aspect. i was at that -- the steering and policy democrats budget hearing for -- on newtown. and i don't ever want to have to talk to a parent or a family who is affected ever again about this kind of gun violence that we didn't do everything in our power to make a difference here and this is the right balance of those two issues -- law-abiding responsible gun owners, their rights protected and doing everything we can to secure those weapons already out there and do something about preventing the access to weapons whose only purpose is to harm a
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human being. >> i was at that same meeting and it was very, very hard to keep composure because i -- we had sitting in front of us some of the families of newtown who as people spoke were basically hysterical, crying. you know, most people think that gun violence is never going to affect them. i think what newtown, you know, has a new awareness, but i will tell you this. when i was mayor, you would have gang shootings, well, i'm not a gang, and so it's not going to affect me. but here is what happens. if a shooting occurs in a neighborhood, any neighborhood, the whole neighborhood is in fear. >> right. >> and i could tell you the phone calls i would receive, the visits to my office. so gun violence does affect everybody. >> i want to ask you, though, about what -- whether the threat of the nra has been inflated,
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whether it is -- part of what is interesting is you're all coming to this new. you don't have the scars of 1994. we'll talk about that after a quick break. ♪ i'd like to thank eating right, whole grain, multigrain cheerios! mom, are those my jeans? [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multigrain cheerios [ female announcer ] for everything your face has to face. face it with puffs ultra soft & strong. puffs has soft, air-fluffed pillows
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congressman nolan you were just saying during the break you're already meeting the wrath of the nra. >> well, i am. i grew up and represent northern minnesota. that is real gun country. most people up there never get their first chicken and roast beef until they're 19 or 20. they grow up on fish and venison. the deer hunting opener, the duck opener. those are sacred holidays. those are when families get together and everybody goes hunting and up until me there had never been a -- someone who supported any kind of gun control that's been elected to that district. but there's been a big change in national sentiment.
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not only are people in urban areas concerned but people in rural areas are, too. they understand that you don't need an assault rifle to shoot a duck or to protect your home. so the last three or four days of this last campaign wayne laperriere, the head of the nra, was in my district going from town to town with my opponent. anybody in my district that had ever gotten a hunting license got three or four calls saying nolan is going to take your guns away, which is not true. i'm a big second amendment supporter. i hunt. i fish. we have guns. everybody in our family and our neighborhood has guns. so i think there's been a big change in the national sentiment. >> hum. >> those who were timid about maybe supporting gun control but were afraid politically need to get over it. i think people want some controls. you just can't allow this kind of gun violence to continue without trying to do something, chris. >> but let me say this, though. i want to get your reaction to this, all right? the story of the politics of
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guns, particularly in the first term of the president, is a story that back before the president, which is basically democrats after the assault weapon ban, particularly after the 2000 election in which it was the story that got told was the gun control legislation cost them precious seats, cost al gore tennessee, he would have been president if he had won tennessee, etcetera. there was a kind of retreat. it just wasn't a priority. we weren't legislating on this issue. and i remember doing shows where we played, you know, the nra convention where wayne laperriere and people are saying barack obama has a secret plan to take your guns away. right? >> oh, yes. >> he is just biding his time. sure he is not doing anything now but if you re-elect him -- how is it not the case that this new initiative has not confirmed retroactively the worst kind of paranoid fears of the gun folks at the nra and the gun owners of america saying, look. these democrats, they may talk nice on guns but they're going to pounce as soon as they get a chance? >> the nra is showing their secret agenda which is to help
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gun manufacturers and help the republican party not gun owners. it is really how we talk about it back in our districts. in wisconsin the packers and hunting are like, you know, extensions of family values. >> yes. >> and no one is trying to take away your hunting rifle. no one is trying to stop your personal protection. >> that's right. >> when you talk about the types of weapons and measures the president and congress need to do it is entirely different. if we're frank with our constituents and tell them the truth nra is doing plenty to define themselves right now. i say let them keep pushing. >> you guys sound genuinely unafraid of the nra. >> yes. >> this is a class and a new era of having the courage to stand by your convictions. can there be repercussions? of course. but that's why we're here, right, is to stand up for what we believe in, to represent our constituents in the country in a way that's meaningful, and i am excited about those kinds of opportunities. i think mark is exactly right. talk to your constituents about what these actions really mean
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and we're going to have to do a much better job about communicating those issues. >> i tell you what. i could not look a constituent in the eye just like i couldn't those families in newtown and say to them, i can't help you because i'm afraid of the nra. >> right. >> that's ridiculous. >> chris, i think it would be a mistake, however, to under estimate the kind of toxic effect that the nra is having. i have never, ever in all my life feared for my security. and i'm not fearful of it now. but i'm a little more than i ever had been before. we've been getting a lot of not very thinly veiled threats and calls into my office. you know, things like you tell nolan he better watch his back. nobody has actually come out and said they're gunning for me but the messages are quite angry, vitriolic, and a little bit frightening to people at my front desk who have been taking the calls. i'm a little nervous about it.
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i've never been nervous before. they are very toxic in the effect they're having on the american public. >> all of you may get a chance to vote on actual gun legislation if the precedent that's been set in the last two or three weeks in the house continues which is a remarkable precedent and augers well to be a member of the minority in the house which has not been a very happy place. >> fair enough. >> for quite a while. we have seen in the last two weeks two different votes that were brought to the floor that did not have a majority of republican support, the fiscal deal that was the last day of the last congress and the sandy supplemental which i talked about in the opening. this violates the so-called hastert rule, dennis hastert had this idea only bills the majority support should come even if you can get 300 votes for the thing it shouldn't come up to the floor because you're the party that controls the house. here's hastert himself speaking
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about why that rule is important. >> when you start making deals where you have to get democrats to pass the legislation, you're not in power anymore. when you start passing stuff that your members aren't in line with all of a sudden your ability to lead is in jeopardy because somebody else making the tune, the president is making a decision or pelosi is making the decision or they're making the decision in the senate. when you give up that responsibility you give up your ability to govern and i think that's the problem. >> i want to ask you all what this means for the legislative agenda of this house going forward right after we take a break. ou make 70,000 trades a second... ♪ reach one customer at a time? ♪ or help doctors turn billions of bytes of shared information... ♪ into a fifth anniversary of remission? ♪ whatever your business challenge, dell has the technology and services to help you solve it.
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starts with arthritis pain and a choice. take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. just two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news. this reduced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. the first question is are you hopeful that the -- we will continue to see the demise of the hastert rule which is do you anticipate you'll get to vote on items like the sandy supplemental where there is not majority republican support but you can cast a yes vote and get some legislation passed? is that going to continue or is this kind of a one off
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situation? >> well, from the very first day we watched when we were voting for the speaker and when alan west gets multiple votes on the republican side, you got a problem on that side of the aisle. we saw that. you know, if they need democrats to help pass bills and that means you're not going to cut social security, not going to cut medicare, we're here. sign us up. but when they want to come with a bunch of crazy stuff or like last session get nothing done, that is where our job is to try to fight that along the way. but we're more than willing to keep delivering the votes for things like sandy relief but watching that caucus action, to hear alan west get votes, for the speaker to only get 220 votes with the majority he has, it was a fascinating first day of work. >> well, to me, the sandy vote is the way congress should work. i think, you know, i ran for congress and probably most of us here because we were disgusted. i saw a thein institution stuck
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the mud. there are real fundamental differences, sincere. that is the scary part. >> right. >> these are sincere differences. when you have sincere differences and you're both pushing like this that car, you'll never get the car out of the mud. someone has to be willing to compromise n a sense the sandy bill was a compromise. some people wanted to do a lot more relief and some didn't want to do any. that is an example of how congress should work. >> if we have to stop trying because we aren't successful and shouldn't be by legislating by ideology. sandy is a recognition there are plenty of opportunities for us to focus on the people we serve and do it in a way that is meaningful. whether it continues? i don't know. we hope it does. >> i disagree. i think ideology seems -- has been made into this toxic word
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but it's just what people believe. >> but if that is all you will do and that is a narrow component for you and you are legislating and trying to figure out policy, you restrict the opportunities that you have to focus on things that will actually make a difference and get them done. when you use it as a vehicle not to pass legislation or not to cooperate or have bipartisan support or engagement you end up right where we are. >> but if there is a bill in the house tomorrow to cut social security benefits by 50%. >> right. >> starting in a month, right? >> you say that is getting something done. we'll come together for the country and do that and don't be ideologically intransient and get nothing done but -- if you don't vote for the bill -- >> we're talking about how we should be voting on this and
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that and everything else and missing the point. sometimes the solution is a lot more simple than it might appear. in this case the 50% cut in social security, it ain't going to come up with a vote. why? because we don't work. if you're not in session, not in committee, not bringing bills forward, if you're not giving opportunities to make amendments nothing comes up. they kick the budget and sequestration down the road all last year and now here we are coming in march. they're going to kick it down the road another three months and go home. three days this past week we were supposed to meet and we met a day and a half. we went in monday night and tuesday and then we go home again. we got sworn in a few weeks ago and took a couple votes and then we went home again. you know, you're only scheduled to meet a few days between now and sequestration and the republicans, really quite frankly, they're doing it deliberately and engaging in this gimmickry like congress
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shouldn't get paid if we don't go to work. guess who decides? it's eric cantor and john boehner. put us to work four or five days a week. >> i have a little different opinion. first of all, i love going home because i live in paradise, south florida and right about now i like to be there and i like to get with my constituents and hear what they have to say. >> one of the rare congress members who likes her district. >> yes. >> i love being in florida. but i also believe in first do no harm. it sort of concerns me in the house the type of legislation that would be brought forward. so i'm not as disappointed that these people are not bringing, you know, rushing with their bills. >> because you don't think they'll be good bills. >> no. i don't think they can be good bills. >> this function goes even further. the fact that last session for six weeks they didn't have flood insurance in place, 47,000 people couldn't close on their homes. >> right. >> that is not even logical.
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it is pure dysfunction. >> but that is the point isn't it, mark? because look. >> that is the point you're making. >> i'm the care giver for my mom. i spent 20 years advocating for disadvantaged families and seniors. you know what? we're going to have a lot of difficulty dealing with medicare and social security. when the eun titlement debate is the next big really difficult set of circumstances. we have to deal with it. my mom can't afford her copays. most seniors can't. even with medicare part d. they can't navigate the health care system. they are disadvantaged and in real trouble. we have to talk about what we're going to do with medicare. if nothing comes up we never have an opportunity to require medicare to negotiate fair pharmaceutical drug prices. >> right. >> we have to get beyond all of one and none of the other. >> michelle, my point is if we're not in session, not working, we can talk about it on talk shows. >> right. >> well i want to talk about the kind of long-term fiscal projections and obviously the
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budget, the long-term budgetary picture is what has been teed up again and again through this weird set of cyclically induced crises. >> right. >> we've now done this again. we're three-month pass of the debt ceiling. i want to see where you want things prioritized and the conversation to go in the next three months now that we've bought time away from the ticking clock again right after this break. it's not for colds. it's not for pain. it's just for sleep. because sleep is a beautiful thing™. ♪ zzzquil™. the non-habit forming sleep-aid from the makers of nyquil®.
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fight back fast with tums. calcium-rich tums starts working so fast you'll forget you had heartburn. ♪ tum tum tum tum tums all right. the big conversation in washington, i think basically since mid 2011 when we had the last debt ceiling showdown, has been about the long-term budgetary projections of the united states and the actuarial peril we face in vis-a-vis particularly medicare, right, in the out years. now, a few things i would say is, first, the projections of medicare solvency right now
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about 11 years is right exactly at the mean for the lifetime of the medicare trust fund, always around 11 or 12 years. it is right in the middle. it is not like it is some horrible look forward but was actually extended by the affordable care act right? but given the fact the republicans seem intent on there is the budget control act and now they seem intent on trying to push changes to american social insurance programs, my sense is what republicans want to do is get you guys to vote for cuts to these programs that are very popular. >> oh, yes. >> and then turn around and run to people in your districts against you. >> that's right. >> because you did that. >> spot on. >> i'm going to challenge you not just popular. these are programs that are critical. have people forgotten the mainstay for reimbursement for hospitals in this country is medicare? you want hospitals to close? in my state we are under bedded, under capacity. in rural areas there aren't any accesses. we can't erode that core component of the health care
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system. do i want people getting their care in emergency rooms? of course not. do i want to figure out cost containment measures? yes. do we need to do something about chronic care disease which in the long term saves this country billions of dollars. should we be reinvesting in public and community health? absolutely. to get there we have to have a productive debate about changes to medicare that are cost containment related and continue to support individuals to get the health care that they need. it is not about restricting benefits, about being smart about investments in the medicare over the long haul. so it's more than popular. this is a critical program in the united states. >> i think first of all we have to understand that medicare and medicaid and social security do not get us into this financial mess. >> right. >> we won't go into the wars, the home bust, the bush tax cuts. so now here's the idea. let's wait until people get oldest and sickest and the way
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we'll fix the budget is, the deficit, is when they get oldest and sickest we're going to take away their benefits. that is totally insane. >> right. >> you're talking about something like for instance raising the eligibility age. >> raising the eligibility age. >> how does the table feel about raising the eligibility age? >> no, no. >> the republicans want us to talk about the budget, the debt ceiling as if that is the only issue out there. i mean the real biggest issue in my opinion is jobs in the economy. >> yes. >> we still have to do everything we can. once we get the economy back you'll have revenue coming in and take care of a lot of the long-term shortfalls in different areas but i personally support the proposal to get rid of the debt ceiling requirement. >> yes. >> i think it is absolutely ridiculous we still have this. >> right. >> this stupid debate that they want to do three months at a time because they want to fight every three months. >> we should note dick gephardt when he was running, speaker in the past, had created a rule that basically tied together the appropriations vote with the
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debt ceiling rate so the two things were in the same. you voted on them together. >> right. >> you're doing this, authorizing spending and borrowing by authorizing the spending. we didn't have this right? that used to be the norm. >> and one thing i'm shocked about really i think one of the most surprising things to me is nobody is talking about jobs. >> no one is talking about jobs. >> it's critical. >> bananas. >> it is the number one issue where i live and most people live. >> negative job growth. >> right. >> these three-month extensions, this is all about no predictability in the private sector -- >> traffic jams and cockroaches are more popular than congress. >> that's right. >> we want to get people back to work. in answer to your question we need to talk about this. there has been a great fraud perpetuated on the american public. lois pointed it out here. medicare, social security, have not gotten us into the financial crisis we are in. this is all about an attempt to turn social security over to
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wall street and turn medicare over to the insurance industry and to privatize those two great programs and characterize them as welfare. they're not welfare. they're earned benefits. people started paying for them the first day they ever went to work. people are quite comfortable with doing whatever we need to do to secure those benefits. but they're not what got us in trouble. >> right. >> as lois pointed out the bush tax cuts, endless wars of choice, building a military empire with billion dollars in every nook and cranny of the earth and they're trying to do bait and switch here. that is where we need to be attacking the problems that we're facing today. and we do need to do some things in social security and medicare but they're not immediate. we got time to do that and we will. >> the entitlements here, when we had the presentation from the congressional research service and nonpartisan entity talked about things they explained it as a transfer of payments. when you think about it, it is people's money being transferred to be able to use for social security and medicare.
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when you talk about that it is even stronger because they have all the spin meisters who say entitlement is a bad word. but it is a transfer of people's own money for these programs. we need to talk about that in a better way. >> i want to pick up on something michelle said. listen, medicare and social security, medicaid, didn't get us into this problem. but listen. we have to face up to the fact that trying to keep health care costs from rising quickly, we have to have some kind of containment. however, i don't think the containment should be cutting off, when people are old and sick, cutting off their benefits. like michelle said, more efficient delivery of services. more focus on prevention. getting more people insured so that when they get older they're healthier. and how about investing research and development? because, you know what? there are cures out there. >> the other thing that is so frustrating is that, you know, congress passed this very big bill. it was incredibly contentious
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called the affordable care act. it has a lot of stuff in there. >> exactly. and none of it has been implemented essentially. something like 10%. rather than sitting and waiting to see if it works or not which if it doesn't work, if it really doesn't work, if cost containment things do you tip your cap to the critics who said it wouldn't and then you have a problem and you go back at it. why don't we wait and see? >> right. it is already working. >> yes. >> i would say that it's already working. we've seen the lowest increase in insurance rates in the history, all time low about average of 4% after the affordable care act was implemented. we've got women in particular who were getting screening and lots of key prevention services. it is already working. >> you said just a moment ago that cockroaches and traffic jams are more popular than congress. >> reporter: and also paris hilton. i want to talk about why people feel that way about congress after we take this break. [ male announcer ] this is sheldon, whose long dy setting up the news
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congressman nolan you have an interesting story i didn't know about. you served in the united states congress from 1975 to 1981. you were a member of the very famous class of so-called watergate babies. >> yeah. >> largest freshman class in the history of the united states congress. you served for three terms. you left congress. you were in the private sector more or less. >> yes. >> for 30 years. >> 32. >> 32. a, what on earth would possess you to go back into the congress? what about watching congress made you think to yourself, man, that is where i need to be? and then what is your sense -- you have a very unique perspective then and now. what has changed in the intervening years since you've been away? >> you know, i remained active in politics back home though in the private sector the entire time. you know, this country has been very good to my generation. if you wanted to fail you had to
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have a plan to do that. that is kind of what's getting away from us. and not kind of. it is getting away from us. we were talking about the jobs and the opportunities and the income. rich are getting richer, poor getting poorer, middle class getting crushed. i just felt compelled. in some respects i did kind of back into it. i started trying to recruit a candidate and the next thing you know they turned on me. >> the old dick cheney move. remember when he was running the vice presidential --. >> yeah. this was a genuine effort. and it failed. i said i'd consider it thinking my friends would do an intervention or something. but they all encouraged me. i tell you what. there is a huge difference between now and then. >> what are the differences? >> well, first of all my first term we worked 48 out of 52 weeks. this last congress worked 32 out of 52 weeks. i think we're scheduled 33. those weeks we worked back in the day were four and five-day weeks. the committees were all working and legislation was coming to
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the floor of the house. it was not uncommon to have 100, 200 amendments under consideration. it was in some respects overwhelming. if anybody had an idea or a notion to make this country a better place to live in, you got your opportunity. >> to get the amendment up. >> absolutely. >> very interesting. >> and this congress, you know, i think we're scheduled to work 124 days. we already skipped one here last wednesday the leadership decided. and they are very short days, not real days. we've been here for sometime now and our committee still hasn't met. >> the argument in favor of that is that you're spending less time in the corrupting capital of washington beltway thinking where you go to cocktail parties and lose sense of yourself. >> yeah. >> and plor time back with the good people of your district who keep you honest. >> but there is a washington mentality, no question when you come out here you start realizing. our first trainings we had and this goes to rick's point, we had two weeks of training and
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they separated democrats from republicans constantly. >> that's right. >> the very first thing they taught us is dysfunction. why it's been so dysfunctional the last congress. then you start watching the issues they talk about that aren't the real issues. so it really is a different world. coming from wisconsin looking at what is happening in washington, i'm doing my best not to follow that. >> but congressman nolan is saying he thinks everybody should be spending more time in washington. >> we should. i tell you why. when you're meeting in committee, meeting on the floor, you're getting to know each other and you'll find there is someone over here who you disagree with 95% of the time. but you find out where that 5% is, where you can collaborate, cooperate, compromise and get something done. >> he really does agree with me, chris. >> i was instigating. >> i just want to point that out. >> every good legislator, in my case, everything i passed i always had a republican partner. >> that's right. >> those opportunities don't exist if you're not working. >> i respectfully disagree because rick was here when the
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democrats had the majority. if we had the majority i would -- but i served in a legislature in florida where the republicans had a very big majority. >> you were minority leader. >> i was minority leader. as i said before, the less the merrier because by the end of the session, i was ready to -- i mean, my head was so banged up from hitting it against the wall and there's such fundamental differences here. i think, rick, to really believe that on every single bill we can make a difference, i really would rather be with my constituents, helping them learn to navigate. >> there is something in common that they're saying. if this is the dysfunction we don't want it to continue if they're going to function like that but we should be working toward what rick is saying. >> i want to talk about the daily schedule of a member of congress and the polarization issue. there is interesting data right after the break. [ female announcer ] what does the anti-aging power of olay total effects
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all right. there is a political scientist named heath poole who has devised a metric for measuring polarization called dw nominate, a way of scoring votes to sort of figure out how polarized a legislative body is. in the house of representatives just to give a sense of what this looks like over time, what you see there is that we are extremely polarized. about the most we've been since 1879. what is interesting there is it's a symmetrical polarization. the democrats have moved left and republicans right. the slope of the line is much higher than the democrats so there's been a sharper veering up from the republicans to the right. also interestingly, congressman nolan, is that you see it begins right when you were in congress. you know, everyone can draw
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their own conclusions. it starts around 1975 is when the line goes up. >> if you look it really takes off in about 1990s, early 1990s. i tell you when that happened. newt gingrich made a speech to the heritage foundation and he said you don't gain political capital. you don't win elections by compromising and collaborating. you do by assuming an uncompromising position and by confrontation. he was right. that is what worked and how he won elections. this country tends to big swings one way or the other but we found after a couple decades of that rampantly increasing polarization and confrontation and gridlock people have had it. they've come to realize you might win elections that way but you can't govern the country that way. >> the question is how did you -- the problem is that compromise cannot be unilaterally imposed. this is the fundamental conundrum of the obama era right? >> chris, that was the message of the last election.
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we've had an opportunity to meet with the republicans. they got the message, too. it's time for collaboration. time for cooperation. >> right. >> their leadership has not gotten that. >> political class, the elite of the political class, the leadership on the republican side that doesn't want their members to do what they need to do to stay, you know, really listening to their constituents. >> i know your district. all right? i spent time in madison, wisconsin. >> it is a very strong, progressive district. >> you replaced tammy baldwin who is now amazingly a united states, a friend, colleague of yours. i know that district. okay? if you are on a bill that this cosponsored with eric cantor, whatever it is, someone is going to come in and primary you or someone is going to come in and threaten to primary you or run ads or you'll go home to the folks of madison, wisconsin, who are going to be really angry you're working with eric cantor. >> again, it is how you explain to people. in the legislature in 14 years i was one of the people toward the end people would say you break bread with republicans. so you found a way to find where
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you could find that compromise. i had someone run against me in the primary saying he voted with scott walker twice out of hundreds of times. he must be a moderate. yet i won by 50 points in that primary because people said, look. he'll stand by progressive values but when you have to find compromise you have to. that is our jobs or else we'll do the same thing as the last congress which makes cockroaches so popular. it is something we have to proactively do. >> it is something i really think a lot about because i'm socially a very progressive person. there are certain things i can tell you i'm not going to compromise on. for example on women's health and choice. don't look at me to compromise. okay? but it would be naive and also i think a little arrogant to think that the folks who have very
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fundamental different thinking that somehow they're going to compromise, too. >> right. >> i mean, we're dealing with, you know, two sides of a coin that don't want to -- >> that is an interesting way of viewing things. i think actually i'm on her side. there is something more fundamental here. let's talk about the daily life of a u.s. member of congress right after the break. [ female announcer ] need help keeping your digestive balance? try the #1 gastroenterologist recommended probiotic.
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to argue would be rude. nissan altima. with moving-object detection. lease now. just $199 per month. visit choosenissan.com. road and track called sentra an economy car minus the look and feel of an economy car. wonder how civic and corolla look and feel about that. the all-new nissan sentra, with best-in-class mpg. lease for $169 per month. visit choosenissan.com. you are looking at a live shot of the white house in the nation's capital on this fine saturday morning just one day before the president and vice president will be sworn in for their second terms two days before the inaugural celebration of that. hello from washington, d.c. i'm chris hayes here with congressman rick nolan of minnesota, congresswoman michelle lujan grisham of
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florida, and congressman mark pocan of wisconsin. we are talking about congress, why the american people are unenthused about the institution, and i thought this little item had a lot to do with it. we're talking about congressman nolan had served from '75 to '81 and had seen the changes and one thing you've said is congress is in session less, work weeks are shorter, you're spending less time in the capital and with people on committee and part of what is driving that is fund raising right? >> correct. >> there is a lot of pressure to fund raise. you have to go back to your district to do that. possibly the freshman class, it was leaked to the huffington post, this is a model daily schedule for a member of congress from the d triple c. four hours call time. call time for those who do not know what call time is that you sit with a list of names and a telephone and you call those people and you ask them for money.
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four hours of call time. one to two hours constituent visits. two hours committee/floor. one hour strategic outreach. one hour recharge time. i think most people look at that model schedule and think to themselves, wait a second. the number one thing, when you have your pie chart you are supposed to be apportioning your time is call time, calling people for dollars? that is the thing? one to two hours constituent services, four hours call time? the second thing i think as a human being is what, it's like dante's ninth circle of hell to sit on the phone and ask people for money all day. h how, why do you decide to do this job? >> "sesame street." one of these things does not belong with the other. call time has nothing to do with our actual jobs yet it is the place that gets us here. not the last election cycle but 2010 it finally surpassed incumbency in getting re-elected. 97% of getting re-elected whoever raised the most money and it is dysfunctional. you'll have plor self-funded
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candidates, more people who come with special interest money and you won't have people with real backgrounds in the legislatures or private sector. >> we're just exacerbating the problem and we aren't going to be able to develop relationships with other members as rick has suggested so we're actually legislating and creating effective policy. it is a component of the job most of us find distasteful and we'd prefer to be doing the real work. >> being kind. hello. this is distasteful. but listen. >> that may be a model day but is not a real day. when i go back to the district as much as i like to be sunning on the beach, we'll be back for ten days. probably like the rest of us, we
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are booked appointment after appointment. >> sure. >> and our districts span a district. >> i don't think objects to that. going to bingo halls and chamber of commerce. >> here is the point. people are upset because it appears and i think it is correct that people in the congress are busy campaigning and not governing. >> all the time. right. >> it is literally true. to your question, that is why many of us have run. gary and i for example now have been working and need to change the way we do poll takes. we need to reverse citizens united. we need public fundings so people are beholden to the public not the most well financed special interest. this money is having a very, very toxic effect on our ability to govern on the results of what we ultimately do. we need to change the way dwee politics. >> we are public servants and that why is we ran. this doesn't allow us to do the job as effectively as we ought to. >> i totally agree. i think most of the public
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agrees. it is not the reality. the reality is for some of us, some people are in very safe districts, most are. if you're in a competitive district the fact of the matter is you have to raise money or the way i look at it someone pretty crazy is going to take your place. >> you have one of the most expensive races in the country if i'm not mistaken. >> yes. i personally had to raise $3.5 million. >> chris, mine was $20 million. >> that is obscene. >> you have to raise money and we are trying to help our colleagues come back. >> right. >> so it has become such a part of it. but rick and i were working on a bill, amendment on citizens united trying to deal with that working with a move to amend a group but i was always the author of a hundred percent public finance i mean until we start having this conversation more we're not addressing -- >> one of the things about campaign finance that is difficult, there is an array of
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things. one is it is a procedural issue and hard to get people motivated, not what they argue about over thanksgiving with relatives. it is not where you get people -- there is also the fact that by nature, by definition sitting members of congress benefit from the system because they got elected. and there is the idea the interest groups that have a lot of power benefit from it because they have relationships and can game it. it always seems to me the soft underbelly of the current regime, the place where it is weakest is the fact that at the end of the day all of you have to do this horrible, dreary thing which is calling people and asking for money. i don't understand why you can't motivate some kind of just like personal rebellion against the prison of this phone in your hand. call rooms are incredibly bleak. dim, fluorescent lights and a little booth. >> but one thing we did in
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wisconsin to stop that when democrats were in control was we put a measure in you couldn't fund raise during the budget process. that took out a quarter of the time. >> that is interesting. >> little steps we did. >> some have a blackout period. >> absolutely. >> that is interesting and seems like an interesting first low hanging fruit. >> everybody has a job and there is a piece you probably really don't like. that is one of the pieces. >> congressman nolan, you were there when this wasn't as much of an issue. i mean, when you were there in '75 and '81, how much time, how much was fund raising part of -- >> i didn't spend any time fund raising. my last election contest i spent i think $230,000. this election contest all the money combined was over $20 million. and i forget who made the point here but i think it was gary. you know, the fact is that, you
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know, 97% of the time the one with the most money gets the most votes. unless you have enough money, don't bother running. on my case i got outspent but i had enough obviously or i wouldn't be here think what we could do in our communities with that kind of investment. you want to get the economy moving and make a difference in education, reform health care? for me, i think particularly in my district that is a compelling message. think about what we could be doing. >> in our caucus leader pelosi has been great about trying to reinforce this that we need these measures and as a caucus we can find people on the other side who hate doing this as well. >> the big question i have about this is i've known a lot of lawyers in my time and people that work at corporate firms. unless you are a sociopath, if you spend 12, 13 hours a day making arguments you come to believe them right? at a certain point you can't detach yourself anymore. part of the problem is at a certain point the detachment you may have now as freshmen members from the dreariness of raising
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money, there is only so long you can keep that detachment and not go crazy. if you're going to do this for ten, 12, 26 years, you'll have to kind of come to like it in some per verse way. once you do, that desire to get rid of the current system is going to -- >> let me just say this. first of all, i don't want to say, my opponent was not crazy. however, what really did motivate me and it is grueling and distasteful to ask people for money but i knew he had such a different approach to solving problems. so that is what motivated me. >> congressman rick nolan of minnesota, congresswoman grisham of new mexico, congressman mark pocan of wisconsin thank you so much for your time. that was fantastic. i learned a lot. president obama's legacy going forward. why his re-election is perhaps more historic, next.
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four years ago plm 2 million people crowded onto the national mall in washington to watch the first black man take the oath of office, the 44th president of the united states. people came from all over the country and brought their children and in imaginations brought friends and family members who had not lived long enough to see such an occasion. it was a transform tiff moment in history, an undeniable point of racial progress but it wasn't post racial. the president himself recognized this early on. >> i have never been so naive as to believe we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle. or with a single candidate, particularly a candidacy as
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imperfect as my own. >> the newspaper "the onion" also recognizes which is why they ran this rather appropriate post election headline, "black man given nation's worst job." so much about president obama is seen through the prism of race, how he won the white house, how he governed the past four years and the conditions under which he won re-election. there were quite a few people who believe president obama won the first election because of luck and timing because he succeeded george w. bush a two-term president who left america in dire straits and that just as obama's opponent john mccain seemed to be getting momentum the entire global economy crashed. precisely because obama's election the first time was and is viewed by a sizable majority of americans as a fluke or one off sentimental indulgence his re-election is all the more significant for what it says about american politics and the ongoing trauma of race. by 2016 a child born in the first hours of the 21st century will have lived half her life and her most formtive years with a black president.
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joining me at the table of ben jealous president and ceo of the naacp. julian malveaux author of "surviving and thriving" 365 facts in black economic history. congresswoman donna edwards democrat from maryland and bill fletcher jr., author of "they're bankrupting us and 20 our myths about unions" editorial member for black commentator.com and senior fellow. it is wonderful to have you here. >> thanks for inviting us. >> i want to start with my good friend and colleague melissa harris-perry who had her first lean forward ad online yesterday shot down in new orleans. take a look because it perfectly articulates this point about what the significance is sitting here in washington, d.c. on the weekend of the second inauguration and how it compares to the overwhelming and sublime rush of emotion a lot of people felt on the first inauguration weekend. take a look.
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president obama's re-election is in certain ways more important even though it is less emotional because it says african-americans having a stake, a governing stake in this country, is just normal, regular. maybe even unremarkable. and in a certain way that is more valuable for understanding of equality than the celebration of the first time it happened. it is really when it becomes something you don't talk about anymore that you know we're moving toward racial equality. >> an interesting point. i am curious what you make of that. >> i don't think -- i agree with melissa that it is past the first one, in fact more historic at some level to have a second election than the first though i disagree that the first election was a fluke. but here is the deal. if you look at the metrics how after american people are doing poverty 27% for african-americans, 13% for everyone. 8% for whites. unemployment 14% for african-americans. 6.9% for whites. business start-ups a third african-americans then whites,
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african-americans owning 2% of our nation's wealth. now no president has been able to really change the material conditions of african-american people but expect ags were so high when president obama was elected that you have folks who are saying, what did we get? how was our community improved? >> but that is not reflected in the votes number. the president won nearly 147b% of african-american voters, very close and at the margins and the durability of the gap in wealth, income, social mobility, incarceration rates, education, attainment levels that exist that have persisted through the first term. have not it seems to me dampened the electoral enthusiasm of african-americans toward this president. >> i look at my own congressional district and still overwhelming support for the president. i think still overwhelming
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hopefulness even in the face of what julianne has described. at the same time i think people are more pragmatic about this president and his ability to accomplish those things in the current political environment. with the kind of enormous pushback he has gotten from both republicans in congress and from very intransigen right wing. people look at that and say let's put this into some context. you go back to that day in january in 2009 when the president was sworn in and you recognize we lost 750,000 jobs that month and every single month and where this economy has come and i think this go around folks are pragmatic but looking at that and saying, well now might be the time and the opportunity for the president to act in a different way. >> it seems like that persists. one of the things about the obama era is i think when we embarked upon it there seemed to
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be sort of two ways of reading the last four years. one was electing a black president and the normalcy that would bring that melissa was just talking about would be a net positive for race relations in america and the struggle for equality and the other aspect is the way electing a black president produced back lash and sometimes very highly racialized back lash. i wonder which of those two stories seems the more compelling to you or the one that you think is the dominant story of what's happened. >> the first four years you have to divide into two segments. you have the first two years. right? where when we had a protest it was to push for health care or was to push for jobs. you had the second two years where when we had a protest it was a push back against the tea party, the back lash against the back lash. >> yes, right. >> about defending voting rights or the rights of our brown -- brothers and sisters to stay in this country.
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>> right. now, you know, what's clear is that the aspirations for every child in this country has gone up. what happens when a black man with a so-called foreign sounding last name becomes president in a year when everybody knew that a woman would be president, thinking back to 2008, is that every child knows that they can be president. the difference between a child's aspirations and a family's situation is the exact measurement of that family's level of frustration. so frustrations have gone up. what you'll see this monday is that we will have, you know, a lot of folks, not as many. some of those folks will be like our folks down in the state capital in south carolina, 8,000 will be out there in the cold protesting for jobs. the same moment that he is sworn in. because folks understand this time we have to switch things and get more jobs. we asked folks as they voted what job, you know, sorry, what
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issue is top for you? 2/3 of them said jobs with no prompting. >> we just had four members of congress here saying no one talks about jobs. >> that will change literally within hours of him taking -- >> bill, i want your thoughts on this and what kind of economic agenda, empowerment agenda we would like to see in the second term right after this break. ft. hey hun, remember you only need a few sheets. hmph! [ female announcer ] charmin ultra soft is made with extra cushions that are soft and more absorbent. plus you can use four times less. charmin ultra soft. plus you can use four times less. ♪ ♪ hi dad. many years from now, when the subaru is theirs...
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but i'm still stubbed up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels speeds relief to your worst cold symptoms plus has a decongestant for your stuffy nose. thanks. that's the cold truth! i recognize the times have changed since i first spoke to this convention. times have changed and so have i. i am no longer just a candidate. i'm the president. >> the president of course accepting the nomination at the democratic national convention and that line got a lot of applause.
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julianne made this point and ben you, too, about this gap between your aspiration and situation is what your level of frustration is. that gap is high across the racial divide because we remain mired in this frustrating economic situation. what is your feeling about how that has resonated through politics, particularly black politics in the obama era? >> well, i think, chris, that part of what we're seeing and it goes back to your earlier question, is that a lot of the vote for obama is a vote for a block for progress. it is not so much about obama. it is both -- it is both a rejection of the racial politics of the republican party and it's also the sense that we simply cannot go back. and that is where there is a real basis for hope. it is not just depending on a
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president. the second thing is that i feel in this administration the next four years we need from this president not simply policies, you know, desperately need an urban agenda. a whole series of things. one thing we really need is this president to say that unionization is one of the best ways to guarantee a rising, living standard for working people and that i am with the working person that wants to unionize. >> that is such an important point especially when you look at the african-american community. a black man who belongs to a union is likely to make 50% more than a black man who does not. a black woman who belongs to a union is likely to make a third more than a woman who does not. so while unionization helps all
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workers it has a disproportionate impact on african-american workers. >> quite frankly there is an opportunity if the president and others in his party speak up to actually slowly begin to bring back some folks in republican party to this conversation. i was having a conversation with a prominent republican leader who said that his mom's biggest regret when she retired having worked a back breaking job for 40 years was that she kept the -- the folks on that job from joining the trade union that showed up trying to organize. she said, i know i would have had a retirement if we had joined. >> that's right. >> this is a debate upcoming around protecting medicare, medicaid, and social security. i say that the three of them together because it is really the social safety net for this country. >> true. >> unions are a huge part of how we're going to enable those protections. i think it is no accident that the union movement has been so attacked because the other side recognizes that they are the key
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to protecting these really important life lines. and so i think where the president comes out early and strong. >> yes. >> and the lesson that i think he has learned from the last four years is, he's got to get out on the road. he cannot stay in this town to make this debate. >> bill, what you said was interesting because one thing i think that has been a hallmark of the president's rhetorical approach and i think largely in some ways because of the awareness of he and his advisers about what it means to be a black president, black man running for the nation's highest office and holding the highest office is that he really shies away from speaking in these specific special interest terms. i'm putting that in quotes right? >> right. >> speaking to unions right? speaking to african-americans, i'm going to do this, an urban agenda for this specific group. instead he, the approach he has taken in the beginning for much of the first term is the idea of
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i am looking out for the median american whoever that person is. if we deliver for them we deliver broadly. that is the rhetorical argument. here he is making that case specifically to the black caucus in the face of criticism early on about the lack of a specific agenda for black america. take a look. >> the most posht thing i can do for the african-american community is the same thing i can do for the american community, period. and that is get the economy going again and get people hired. i think it is a mistake to start thinking in terms of particular ethnic segments of the united states rather than to think that we are all in this together and we're all going to get out of it together. >> now, here is what i find fascinating. that was in 2009. if you look at the political approach of the campaign in the election year, it was very specifically targeted. in fact, the republicans were shouting up and down this was
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somehow unfair. >> they were targeting too. they were just saying what everybody didn't want to hear. >> exactly. >> everybody they could possibly alienate. >> what is frustrating about that clip is the only population not specifically addressed has bethesda naval hospital african-american population. immigration is targeted partially toward the latino community. marriage equality. >> right. >> targeted toward the gblt community. we get proclamations. we don't get policy that is targeted toward us. and there are just a couple things he could do without, you know, raising his fist and basically beating on his chest to say, let's target, if there was, chris, a community, let's say in appalachia that had a 14% unemployment rate while the country had 6.9% unemployment rate it might be reasonable for policies to say this community in appalachia is doing worse than everybody else. we have to do something about it. now when african-american people have a 14% unemployment rate it is sort of ladida and nobody
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congresswoman edwards i want you to respond to what julianne just said. >> look. i think that what the president has wrestled with is i don't think it is rhetoric but the president actually believes that when he creates a broad policy it can have really specific impact so i think the notion that he somehow just says it, he believes that. i think he has tried to implement that strategy from a governing perspective in an environment that simply won't allow it. do i think there are things various agencies can do and ought to do? there are always ways. the federal government has a vast infrastructure of sort of in the absence of policy actually targeting programs and grants and services and things
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than has not happened in the kind of way we'd like to see. we'll see what transpires over a second administration. >> part of what you were saying before and i'll let you in in a second is in re-election campaigns these kind of targeted policy moments, around birth control, lbgt marriage, etcetera, not specifically the african-american community. the point i made is the constituency is going to win 95%, 96% of, what do you want the guy to do? he is running for re-election. >> after the 47% comment, that any african-american or working class white person was going to vote for somebody who said 47% of the -- you know, that just isn't true. mitt romney imploded. the president won this election and it wasn't a fluke as you mentioned about the first one but we have a candidate that
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even his own party. >> right. >> didn't want. >> sure. >> but in the absence, there are specific policies for example. i think the president in the face of a lot of opposition really stuck on pell grant funding and education funding and i think those are things that have particular benefits and i heard them and those are important policy directives. that is important for us to actually be more aggressive in a second term in making sure we hold this administration accountable for the needs of urban communities, suburban communiti communities. >> we certainly have to ask for what we want and one thing that i think happened in the first term there is were so many euphoric black people just so happy to have the president there they so hesitated on being aggressive. this time okay. we have a black president. have him again. you won't get fed in your mother's house unless you bring your plate to the table. other people brought their plates to the table.
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>> this president is somebody who worked on the south side as a community organizer. what comes out of that, one is a perspective that somebody who truly understands if you increase jobs you decrease a bunch of other things from incarceration to teenage pregnancy and so forth. basic, julius wilson. that is one. two, the notion that you got to organize in a democracy more than one community. so you can say look. we all need jobs. >> right. the third is the job of the organizer is never to put a politician in office to make change but to make the movement easier. this president demobilized in many ways after 2008 and said what are you all doing? this time that is not going to happen. >> two things. one is that i think we actually focus too much on obama as a person as opposed to obama the administration. and so what happens, certainly in black america, is that people look at this guy and they say,
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you know, we're really proud. he's under attack, whatever. we don't look at that there is an administration. we're not dealing with augustus caesar but with an administration. >> or moses. as such this administration as my colleagues point out will be responsive to pressure. within black america. we have to be self-critical. it wasn't that people were we luck tant. people like tavares smiley and cornell who raised criticisms, you can take issue with how they raised it, were demonized. people that started raising criticisms and pointing at the administration and saying this administration can and should go further were demonized. they weren't pointing to the administration but to the man. this is where i think there is great confusion. i don't even think the president views himself as sort of standing alone on some altar. i think he needs the pressure.
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in fact i think he wants that pressure from the outside because he wants to have sort of a stronger policy bent and you can't do that if you don't have -- >> i want to ask about how four years of a black president has altered politics of the civil rights movement as an institutional force in america which has grown up outside of power and now positioned to power and is now existing with a black man as the face of power. i want to ask you about that right after this break.
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can force the whole society to begin the process of accepting the negro as a fellow human being, a person, and as a man. >> is this not black power you're talking about? >> i guess that is in the sense that it is a psychological call for manhood. >> heaven forbid black power. i think what is so -- heaven forbid we be men. >> you're the head of i think the oldest civil rights organization in the country. the civil rights movement grew up in opposition to power. what was radical and scary about the phrase black power, those two words adjoined to each other was precisely what a break that symbolized with the entirety of american history. here we have the most powerful person in the country is a black man. my question to you is how does that change the politics of the civil rights movement? that spent decades removed from and alien to power? >> not much at the end of the
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day. the question would first come when i got this job. you had the national association for the advancement of colored people and they say well now there is a black man in the white house. how much further do your people need to advance? at first i tried to be ernest. then i said look. the key word is, and the phrase naacp is double-a. we are not the national association of the advance of a colored person but the national association for the advance of colored people. colored means people of all colors and specifically brown people, black people, asian people. all of those pushed down by white supremacy historically. >> right. >> and second is people. and black people, brown people, are hurting right now. >> right. >> and so in this time we have to sometimes remind ourselves our job is to be oppositional and that is why our folks, 8,000 of the south carolina state capital this monday are going to be pushing for jobs. great. there is a big party happening
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in washington. we need jobs here. we'll be at the state capital pushing for jobs. >> it is interesting. i think the civil rights movement has to figure out how to be both proud and oppositional simultaneously. therefore often you get a schizophrenia. everybody wants the president to come speak at their convention and if they don't inner' mad. >> right. >> if you have essentially dissed this man for a year and then you say, gee, come to my convention because it makes me look better, ah, sorry about that, it's just not happening. it is kind of a schizophrenic position. i think it alienates a lot of activists to see the organizations we've supported all these years sort of wiggle and wobble. it sort of -- the younger generation who doesn't think the naacp has a lot of meaning who actually don't think, well you get people under 30 and you can talk about how many members you have under 30. >> our fastest growing segment. >> i think -- i've been
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delighted to see campus naacp chapters. i was down at the college of william & mary on maybe thursday. i never know where i am. but the young woman a delta who was leading an naacp chapter we have a great chapter at bennett but you also have a lot of young people who are like what does this have to do with me? >> and that tension between the two of opposition and pride is kind of a big unresolved tension not just for african-americans but for everyone on the left frankly, the sort of broad obama coalition that there is constantly that tension and i think it will play out very differently in the second term than the first and that to the extent there is a deflation it happened in terms of say the numbers between the first time around and now opens the space to get that balance perhaps bett better, more right than the first time.
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in just a moment what we now know that we didn't know last week. first a quick update on a story we did last sunday. after nearly a week-long silence united states attorney for the district of massachusetts carmen ortiz released ortiz, released statement about activist aaron schwartz and his suicide and what role she may have had it. he used m.i.t.'s computers to download too many downloads from the j-store. if convicted he faces $50 million in fines. ortiz said, there is little i can do to abate the anger that many believe that the prosecution of mr. swartz was unwarranted and somehow led to the tragic result of him taking his own life. at a no time did this office ever seek or ever tell mr.
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swartz's attorneys that it would seek the maximum punishment. we know that they put nine more charges putting maximum pressure on aaron. and now there is an introduction of a bill called aaron's law to prevent abuse of other internet users. a memorial will be this after noon in cooper's hall in new york city. there will be some incredible people there celebrating a really amazing life. >> what do we know now that we didn't know last week? we know that a part of residential part of the country has segregation, and that it has real consequences. this week, a study looked at lung cancer in counties where people were segregated and the rates were higher almost 20% than those who live in least segregated kocounties. we know that health has much to
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do with the environment and the inheritance of genes. if you want to know about somebody's health, follow him home. like all of the previous congresses we know that the 113th will have no representation for the residents of washington, d.c. we know that the black majority it is a part of on going disenfranchisement of the fellow citizens and we know that for d.c. voters the president's inaugural limo will have the motto taxation without representation. we know that george bush had the d.c. plates with the motto to remind the people of their disenfranchisement removed from his limos. we know that they should have the representation that citizens of all 50 states should. and with we know that what was to be the government's largest
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foreclosures and malfeasance has been shuttered for more than 8 million borrowers and this breaks down to about $800 per borrower. we know that they have covered up their on malfeasance and closed on homeowners and others who were caught in the grinding gears of the foreclosure machine, there has been no legal accountability for the banks. this ruling comes on the celebration of a earlier $25 billion of the states attorneys generals and banks for foreclosure abuse, but we know that most of the money was diverted by governors away from foreclosure relief to other priorities. with we know until there is just
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punishment for the mall feezment and abuse, it will continue. we know that this has been the biggest failed policies, and we know that the second term has a chance to get it right. we want to find out what our guests didn't know when the week began that they know how. >> well, we are reminded that we have a oops foreign policy of the united states. the united states engages in so many activities without thinking through the consequences, and the nato attack on libya, the hijacking of the libyan uprising has led to the flooding of northwest africa with weapons that is now out of control. the uprising, and the subsequent uprising in mali which has now been taken over by the al qaeda in the iz lslamic maghreb and further activities of the kidnappings are all of the direct consequences of an action
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that in my opinion, the united states should never have en gamged in. >> i would say as we watch that we will cover this in the future as we watch the french intervention in mali, the u.s. is not alone in engaging in ad hoc french policy, and some of the french citizens are asking themselves questions about that, donna. >> well, switching subjects, i think that we now know that the president is willing to go big, and we saw it in the statement that he made about what is going to be done on guns. both the 23 executive orders that he signed, but as well as saying to the congress, we have to have an assault weapons ban and we have to have universal background checks and get rid of the large capacity magazines. with we know that he understands that that is about the little kid in chicago who's killed as well as the students in newtown. >> yes. julian julianne? >> well, that note reminded my
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sorority celebrated their 100th anniversary, and we are 14,000 people here in washington, d.c. of delta sigma theta, and it reminded me of the power of african-american women especially congress power and i'm hoping, congresswoman, that many of us work together to make sure that the violence against women act is reauthorized. it is caught in the slush pile of -- >> public opposition is what it got caught in. >> and the slush sppile of the budg budget. and on a personal note, i know i cannot live without my cell phone. >> bell jealous? >> we can turn -- ben jelous. >> we know that we can stem the tide of incarceration, because people moved from tough on crime to smart on crime. >> that is a really big welcomed change to have a decrease in prison pop ulation. i want to thank my guests.
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thanks for getting "up." all right. thank you for joining us today for "up" and join us tomorrow morning at 8:00 as we will have governor dan maloy on two gun control proposals and governor sherrod brown and patrick gaspard and also as supreme court justice sotomayor prepares to deliver the inaugural oath. thank you for getting "up." stay tup tuned for melissa harris-perry. [ male announcer ] some day, your life will flash before your eyes. ♪ make it worth watching. ♪ the new 2013 lexus ls. an entirely new pursuit.
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